One cool thing about being an extrovert while living alone is nothing, because it sucks.
A short eight months ago, I chose to live alone at a college with 50,000 other students. You may be asking why. The truth is that when I transferred, my worst fear wasn’t about how lonely I would feel, but about sharing a room with a possible caveperson. I decided at that point, sharing the space I breathed while sleeping wasn’t worth the fear of discovering the wheel at 1 am.
On top of living with strangers, I also ruled out the dorms as I would feel elderly in comparison to the new kids in town. It was a stressful month for me, deciding to transfer and still having no place to live. I had a one-month countdown until classes started, so I zeroed in on an apartment for myself. I was excited, but that’s because I figured I’d have kids lined up at the door begging to be friends with me.
About two months in and let me tell you, it doesn’t get better. The excitement faded at this point and all I was left with was an empty refrigerator and the realization that my habit of talking to myself wasn’t going away. I had never felt more alone. It turns out, when you live by yourself, you’re alone for a solid six hours per day. The problem was that I loved being surrounded by my friends.
Before transferring, I spent every day with them. Studying, eating, sleeping and any day to day activity was fair game. Even if it was overkill, it made me happy. I felt like I belonged and most importantly, I had someone else to validate how funny my jokes were. When my social life slowly disappeared, I wasn’t sure how to cope. Granted the loss was my own fault, but I didn’t realize how much it would affect me.
Fall semester passed and I made zero progress on the friendship front. I was doing my best, but it turns out there are a lot of people who don’t laugh at my jokes. The worst part of it all was that I could go an entire day without talking to anyone. If I had a bad day, I didn’t want to talk in my classes, which meant I went home to vent to my seven indoor plants. The only upside was that they didn’t suggest how to fix my problems. It was a constant cycle of loneliness which was as depressing as it sounds. I woke up alone, studied alone and ate six of seven pizza slices alone.
Move out day is rolling in, however, and I’m not ready to leave. It turns out, living alone grows on you when you thought it never would. It’s something I can add to the bucket list that I can actually cross off. I’ve learned what it means to be independent on a level I never thought I would have to. For other extroverts I have only one thing to say: living alone sucks, but it shows you who you are and who you want in your life. I’ve learned a lot by struggling through most of it, and even though I wouldn’t do it again, I am happy to say I am more independent because of it.